Southampton docks expanding after £110million investment

Daily Echo, Andrew Ross - 22 September 2016

Southampton docks is expanding to meet increasing container traffic and larger ships visiting the port.

Container port owners DP World Southampton has taken over an extra 11.2 acres of land at the north east edge of the terminal, creating 640 extra ground spaces to store containers and bringing the size of the terminal to almost 100 hectares.

The new area supports operations at SCT 5- the terminal's newest and largest deep- water berth, which opened in March 2014.

SCT 5 is a new 500 metre quay representing £110 million of investment and is capable of handling the largest vessels in the world.

The new site is behind the berth and cuts the distance between quayside and the container stacks so ships can be loaded and unloaded more quickly.

Nick Loader, chief executive officer of DP World Southampton, said: "Container ships are getting bigger all the time.

"The new land will allow us to increase the utilisation of SCT 5.

"It will also help us to be much more efficient so that DP World Southampton can continue to load and unload vessels faster than any other container terminal in the UK.

"Our customers tell us that we are the most productive terminal in the UK and we intend to stay that way."

The terminal operator's expansion plans also includes investment in 17 new straddle carriers, which lift and move the containers, from Kalmar in Poland and two additional new cranes scheduled which are due to be delivered in early 2018.

The surface upgrade works on the new land were carried out by Fordingbridge-based Earlcoate Construction and Plant Hire and were overseen by Romsey based consulting civil and structural engineering company WFBA.

The size of container ships importing and exporting goods around the world has nearly doubled in just under 10 years.

The world's largest container ships regularly call at DP World Southampton including the MSC which carried more than 19,400 containers.

However, there are already 21,000 TEU vessels on order for delivery during 2017, say the firm southampton is the UK's second largest container terminal and handles two million containers a year.

DP World expansion comes a week after ABP announced that it was to invest £50m in the construction of two new multi-deck facilities for loading and unloading cars at the docks.

It was reported that more than 800,000 vehicles now pass through the port each year, more than half for export.

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